Lauren Hanley

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Lauren Hanley completed a Master of Strategic Studies.

In 2019 Lauren graduated from the Master of Strategic Studies (MSS). Before choosing the program, she researched which university and master program will be the most adequate for her career aspirations.

I was looking at courses and one of my lecturers recommended ANU. After looking through the course guide online and reading about the classes it seemed like something I would enjoy. No other university had the same calibre of teachers or contacts in the public service. If you want to be in the Strategic Studies field, you have to be at ANU.

Lauren is amazed by the opportunities she had throughout her degree. She highlights the study tour to Borneo run by Garth Pratten, which also happened to be her favourite course of the MSS.

“We spent two weeks exploring the history of the Australian landings on Borneo in World War II and their legacy in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The trip had us trekking through the jungle in the morning and having round table discussions with government officials in the afternoon. It was fascinating”.

Lauren describes that when they returned to Canberra from the tour, the students spent the next few months learning how to conduct archival research and put together a project of their choice. “It was a truly unique experience”.

Additionally, Lauren interned with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). “I worked on issues surrounding diplomacy in the Asia Pacific which is something that I never thought I would be doing. It was extraordinary”.

She is grateful for the opportunity to attend the Kioloa retreat that the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) organises every year. “I recommend students to attend the retreat. It is the perfect occasion to network and students get to interact one-on-one with academics and other classmates. Apart from the fact that we had so much fun (laughs)’.